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Half of doctors routinely prescribe placebos

New York Times, October 24, 2008

Half of all American doctors responding to a nationwide survey say they regularly prescribe placebos to patients, results that trouble medical ethicists who say more research is needed to determine whether doctors must deceive patients in order for placebos to work. "This is the doctor-patient relationship, and our expectations about being truthful about what's going on and about getting informed consent should give us pause about deception," said Franklin G. Miller, director of the research ethics program at the U.S. National Institutes Health and one of the study authors.